Friday, October 06, 2006

Judge Not

I think if I hear one more person say “judge not”, I am going to puke. We have taken a basic biblical maxim, having to do with not judging people’s hearts and the disposition of their souls, and turned it into the one and only moral absolute. We have lost the ability, or perhaps just the willingness, to separate the person as a whole, from the action.

Judging actions is not only allowable, but necessary. If we can’t judge actions, we have no basis for limits in a civil and just society. We are then truly an “anything goes” people. No action can be disallowed, as we will fear being “judgemental”. We are so very close to this already. The most heinous things happen, and we feel we cannot call evil by it’s name, because we will be labeled “judgemental”. Even as the nation grieves for the Amish families in Pennsylvania, who have lost their little girls (and may lose still more) to the actions of a man who made a decision to storm their school and kill them – we are being reminded “not to judge”.

Well, I’m judging. What that man did was evil, pure and simple. Tying small girls together and shooting them is evil. I don’t know the state of that man’s heart and mind. I don’t know for sure whether his soul rests in the bosom of God, or burns in the fiery pits of hell. But I know that what he did was EVIL. I can be fairly sure that whatever went through his head before he stormed that school is unlikely to have been fear of being judged.

So as we go about our days, feeling oh-so-righteous in our refusal to judge, we'd better think about what that says about us. And about how much it impairs our ability to have a society in which people limit their behaviour to those things that are decent - because they will have no fear of being judged.


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